Midweek Joy in Luray

//Midweek Joy in Luray

This article is written by The Rev. Alex Zuber of Stony Man Lutheran Parish in Luray about his parish’s mid-week services.

Beginning in August of this year, the Stony Man Parish, made up of Beth Eden and Grace Lutheran in Luray has been having time for fun, faith, and fellowship in the middle of the week. It has been an important time for our congregation to experience worship and fellowship outside of Sunday morning, in a way that is inviting and engaging to the community at large. In an effort to find more opportunities to connect with the community and foster fellowship in the parish, a rotation of Midweek Services was started that includes Dinner Church, Evening Vespers, Waffle Church, and Faith on Tap.

Dinner Church has been one of our most successful options in rotation for midweek services. We gather on the first Wednesday of each month for a meal and service around the table. This is a different feel to worship, but grounded in a familiar sense of liturgy. We renew our hearts around the Word of God, Christ’s Holy Supper, and the Fellowship of friends and family. We are fed in both body and soul by our time together. Dinner Church is perfect for families and offers a great opportunity for friends and families to work together as the monthly volunteers to provide the meal. A distinctive mark of the early Christian Table fellowships was that they gathered money for the poor. In that spirit, we take a collection every month for a charity in our community or around the world. In October, we’ve raised $152 for Lutheran Disaster Response.

Friends are invited to come as they are to Evening Vespers, the relaxed Wednesday evening service on the second Wednesday of each month. For some, this service is a powerful ending to their work day, a mid-week respite for meditation and reflection. Wednesday night provides the opportunity for an intimate yet informal worship experience unique from what you might expect at a Sunday morning service. At the center of the spoken liturgy is a community reflection on the evening’s bible reading. The group discussion will include some teaching about the shape and history of the text while also connecting the reading with God’s larger message. “Vespers”, a prayer service rather than a communion service/mass, received its name and originated in the monasteries when worship took place every two hours around the clock. The service generally concludes in 30-45 minutes, leaving members refreshed and centred for the days ahead.

We know that the “Church” is not a building, rather it’s all God’s people as the Body of Christ. Pair God’s people with breakfast and on the third Wednesday of each month you get Waffle Church! We gather at 8:00 AM for a meal and fellowship around the breakfast table at Uncle Buck’s, a local diner in Luray. This is a time to start our day off right with Word, food, and conversation! We are fed in both body and soul by our time together and by discussing readings from our Daily Lectionary. Waffles are not required, but why miss the chance?
Our last midweek service of the month is a time for Beer and Bible Study! Faith on Tap takes place on the last Thursday of the Month at Hawksbill Brewing Company for Beer, Bible Study, and Fellowship! The Brewery is a new addition to town, and with a Methodist owner, it opened the door for a fun ecumenical event. Gathered with folks from Luray United Methodist, Faith on Tap has become a vibrant and welcoming time of conversation around a wide range of topics. You do not need to like or drink beer in order to attend this time of faithful conversation and fun. This is meant to be a laid-back time of conversation for personal and spiritual growth. All are welcome, no matter where you are in your journey of faith.
Dinner Church and Vespers have provided meaningful opportunities for our congregation to grow closer together through fellowship under our own roof. Waffle Church and Faith on Tap have been joyful opportunities for public witness and inviting conversations with folks in our community. We’ve been delighted by the life-giving nature of these services, and look forward to what they’ll bring in the future.

 

By | 2017-10-27T09:43:21+00:00 October 27th, 2017|News|Comments Off on Midweek Joy in Luray

About the Author:

Emily Pilat is the Director of Communications for the Virginia Synod. She is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington where she earned her BA in in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and a minor in Digital Studies. If you have an announcement, upcoming event, or news story idea you would like to share, get in touch with Emily via email [email protected] or by phone (540) 389-1000